Markets

Crude Oil Price Outlook: Weak on Concerns About Global Demand

Crude Oil Price Outlook: Weak on Concerns About Global Demand

Riyadh/Dubai - Saudi Arabia on Monday said two of its oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in attacks that caused "significant damage" to the vessels.

The announcement by the foreign minister comes after a television station run by the Houthi movement said Yemeni rebels had launched drone attacks on Saudi installations, without identifying the targets or time of the attacks.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened in the Yemen war to bolster the internationally-recognised government's efforts against the Huthis in March 2015.

US national security agencies believe proxies sympathetic to or working for Iran may have sabotaged the tankers off the UAE coast rather than Iranian forces themselves, a USA official familiar with the latest USA assessments said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Gulf Cooperation Council on Sunday termed the attack on the four commercial vessels as "dangerous escalation (that) speaks of the evil intentions", reported CNN.

Iran's foreign ministry called the incidents "worrisome and dreadful" and asked for an investigation into the matter.

America's Government has warned ships that "Iran or its proxies" could be targeting maritime traffic in the region, and the U.S. has moved additional ships and aircraft into the region.

According to the minister, at 6-6:30 a.m. local time drones hit two pumping stations of the pipeline used to transport oil from the oil deposits in the East of the kingdom to the port of Yanbu in the West.

Markets have been supported by Washington's bid to cut Iran's oil exports to zero and reduce exports from Venezuela, where infrastructure problems have also cut output.

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Days after the United States deployed bombers and an assault ship to bolster an aircraft carrier in the region, the world's largest crude exporter said two pumping stations had been targeted early Tuesday.

The team of United States military experts was sent to investigate the damages at the request of the UAE, but American officials have not provided any details about what exactly happened.

What do we know about the "sabotage"?

Although, Saudi Oil minister Khalid Al-Falih has responded now, saying that Yemen's Houthis has carried out the attack.

For his part, USA president Donald Trump said he expects to speak to Chinese president Xi Jinping at a G20 summit in late June and have "probably a very fruitful meeting".

Saudi Arabia has since described the incident as a threat to the security of global oil supplies.

In the letter, Saudi Arabia held Iran and the Houthis "totally responsible" for Tuesday's attack, according to Al-Arabiya.

The pumping stations reportedly targeted lie west of the capital Riyadh, at Dawadmi and Afeef.

It quoted the Cabinet as saying that it was the global community's shared responsibility "to preserve maritime safety and oil tankers' security in anticipation of any effects on energy markets and the danger of that on world economy".

Iran's Revolutionary Guards threatened last month to close the narrow waterway, which separates Iran from the Arabian Peninsula, if Iranian vessels were barred from using it.


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